Typical 24: Ian Wilding, Radical Company

IDG Connect is looking to speak to IT, business and marketing professionals across the spectrum to discover more about their very different, typical working days.

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Ian Wilding

 Job title: Founder, Head of innovation

 Company: Radical Company

 Location: London, Manchester - Global!

 Years’ experience: 20



1.    What time do you reach the office each day?
My day always starts early, as typically they involve an early morning commute with just me and the ideas within my head. I’m often in before 9am, fuelled and ready to go.

2.    Is your job varied?
My job is very varied and involves lots of juggling. Most of my time is spent in workshops thinking of new ways to do things. Outside of this I’m taking care of all the admin associated with running and growing businesses of our kind.

3.    Is your job creative?
I honestly believe my job is as creative as it gets, and I spend hours helping our clients to think creatively about how they develop their businesses. Unfortunately, I’ve always struggled to grow a beard, and don't have the legs for skinny jeans, so I’m not quite the stereotypical creative package just yet.

4.    What do you spend the majority of your time doing?
Listening. Whether it is challenging the client to describe a new opportunity, or to my colleagues when trying to overcome a challenge. I tend to do lots of listening, trying to understand people’s perspective before offering advice and possible ways forward.

5.    Do you personalise your desk?
Forget the desk - I’ve personalised the entire office! Our offices are a mix of office, coffee shop, industrial kitchen and I’ve spent most of my time personalising the entire space with an industrial/vintage theme. Luckily everyone else likes it, or at least that’s what they tell me! I don't actually have my own desk - I’m often perched alongside our 5m long breakfast bar.

6.    Would you describe yourself as creative?
I’ve been called worse things. But yes I would describe myself as creative, although not in an art/design sense. Creativity for me is all about solving problems, finding ways around things, making the most out of opportunities and most importantly, getting people excited and bringing them along on the journey.

7.    Do you have any quirky daily rituals?
I wouldn’t say I have any quirky rituals but I am a creature of habit. I can’t survive without my Starbucks Latte and Cinnamon Swirl.

8.    Do you tend to work on your own or with colleagues?
I mainly find myself working with colleagues, and I tend to leave a day per week to work alone which allows me to catch-up on my inbox.

9.    How many hours on average do you work a day?
10-12 hours per day is typical. I find this manages my workload well so that I can spend as much time as possible picking my children up from school, watching them at football etc.

10.  Roughly how much time do you spend each day on email? Taking calls? In meetings?
Most of the day is made up of meetings and email. I tend not to have many calls as much of my work is face to face.  I find it the most effective communication for my type of work.

11.  Do you use social media much for work?
We use social media mainly to shout about our successes or to share some key market insights. LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are our main channels.

12.  What do you enjoy most about your work?
Most definitely the people. Being able to work with and learn from smart, enthusiastic and positive people.

13.  What type of music (if any) do you listen to at work?
We listen to lots - although I have no control of the line-up - I think I’m purposefully kept away. I couldn't tell you what the music is either - sounds a bit chill out clubby - I’ll be sure to enquire!

14.  What do you do for lunch?
I’m very bad for this. I tend to have breakfast, skip lunch, and wait for my evening meal. People tell me this is not good but I’m rarely hungry at lunch time and prefer to look forward to a nice evening meal.

15.  Do you socialise with work colleagues?
Yes all of the time. Typically this takes the form of a beer after work, but there is a growing craze in the office for the after work Escape games.

16.  Are there any tasks (through your career) you’ve been especially glad to get rid of?
No not particularly. I’ve actually enjoyed doing many things and learning lots of new skills which helps me to be more understanding and appreciate the perspective of others. The only thing I can think of is that while fitting out the office our cleaner let us down. So I think while I was elbow deep in the toilet I probably wasn't learning a great deal - other than perhaps making a better choice on cleaners next time.

17.  What is your last task of your day?
Brush teeth. Lights out - sleep.

18.  How do you like to relax after work?
Playing with the kids, running, cycling, eating out, watching TV.

19.  Do you keep checking email through the evening?
If I’m away from home I will typically be working all evening. When at home with the family I rarely check, as my children and wife are far more important.

20.  Do you take work projects home with you?
All the time - I do enjoy work and I even get my kids involved. It’s not uncommon for me to have my 12 and 7 year old girls in the office working on a project.

21.  What would you say to your 20-year old self?
At Loughborough University I was held at gun point when someone tried to steal my chips and curry sauce takeaway. Rather than hand the food over (I was very hungry), I ran for it..... hearing bang bang bang behind me I was literally running and checking for holes!! The gunman was later picked up robbing McDonalds that evening - My wife says the advice to my 20-year old self should be... put life in front of a take away!

22.  If you could try out any job for a day, what would you choose?
Who doesn’t want to try being a film star or a footballer for a day?

23.  What device did you use to answer these questions?
Mac Book Po - 13 inch.

24.   Do you use your own personal device for work?
No, I only have my work devices - Mac Book Pro, iPad Pro, iPhone.